Being from the Pacific Northwest, I have a personal interest in craft beer. My brother is a brewer back home in Oregon and his work has inspired my own curiosity about what it means to brew a beer, as well as the decision making process to achieve a desired outcome. For Five Points Festival in NYC’s Lower East Side, they were looking for something a little out there to match the theme of their festival and found it in Sixpoint Brewing’s “Mad Scientist” IPA.
We had the good fortune of talking with Sixpoint’s brewing manager, Marcus Lutter, who gave us the lowdown about the beer. I will say I did not get a chance to taste it myself because when I went back on Sunday to get some, it was completely sold out. That probably speaks volumes about the quality, but I still enjoyed learning about the process, the brewery, and what went into the beer.
Sixpoint’s Red Hook location in Brooklyn has three brewers on their team including Lutter and when they got the request for a custom beer they were ready for the challenge.
As luck would have it they had already claimed the “Mad Scientist” name, so when it came to putting together a nerdy beer they had a slam dunk. True to the name, the beer was a fun experiment. Lutter mentioned that custom requests like this give them a chance to experiment and play with beers.
For process, Lutter said they went with an IPA since they are a popular style and generally a crowd pleaser. They added in a lot of bitter hopps, sour culture, and tart cherries to really add bite to the beer. It was finished off with a wild strain of yeast called brettanomyces, which has a distinct taste and always adds a little quirk.
The final product? A beer the brewers were proud of, and apparently festival-goers drank it down within the first day. Unfortunately for anyone wanting to try it, the “Mad Scientist” IPA was a one-off beer in part due to the commissioned nature of it, but also due to the wild strain of yeast used. Lutter explained that using brettanomyces makes a beer hard to replicate in the future because each strain is slightly different.
Never fear, though. Lutter and his team are bringing their years of experience to brewing all sorts of great beers that you can check out at the brewery. Take a look at their website for upcoming releases so you don’t miss the next great thing.
Our thanks to Marcus Lutter for sharing about the beer! “Mad Scientist” was definitely a hit at Five Points Festival and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next.